Adventures in God
From Adventures in God:
I found God as a boy, so for almost 50 years I have been walking in the light of God understanding fellowship with Him and listening to His Voice.
I want to call to your attention some of the things the Christian enjoys that others miss.
A dear man received an injury that caused his death in a motor accident not far from Beaverton. The day after this man was killed, I was visiting some friends in Beaverton and they told me of his injury. After our visit, my wife and I were driving into the city. As we were coming up on the highway a Voice said, "Pull onto the left of the road and stop."
Don't you know that Voice, Christian heart? That Voice is so common that I never even spoke of it to my wife.
The left side is the wrong side of the road, and you are breaking the traffic law to be there. But I have listened to that Voice so many years that I have learned in most cases to obey it. Jesus said, "My sheep know my
voice." (John 10:27.)
(The thought I am trying to bring to you, dear friends, is the value of knowing the Lord and what communion with God means. Salvation is not just something God gives you that is going to bless you after you die; it is having the presence of the Lord now. God has promised to the Christian the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.)
I pulled onto the left hand side of the road, ran the wheels of my car close into the ditch, and stopped. Immediately, I heard the grinding of a great truck coming around the curve. I had not seen it before. Instead of coming normally, it was coming down the driver's left hand side of the road at a 45 degree angle. The truck had gone out of control and was covering the whole road!
If I had been on my side of the road, it would have sideswiped me and pushed me over the bank.
A 100 foot drop down! But I was on the other side when the great thing swept past me. The truck went 50 to 100 feet beyond me, struck a rough spot in the road, and righted itself. The driver got the truck under control and went on.
Dear friends, men in the Word of God were guided by the Voice of God. God talked to them. This is the inner thing of real Christian experience, the reason men seek by the grace of God to enter into the real heart of God into the real soul of Jesus Christ into the place where He lives within you where His Voice speaks in your heart.
I was sitting one day in the home of the DeValeras in Krugersdorp, South Africa, when a man arrived who had traveled all over the country. He had been following me from place to place, trying to catch up with me. He suffered a sunstroke which had affected his mind and he also had developed a large cancer.
He came into the house and proved to be a friend of the family. In a little while a six year old child who had been sitting near me went across the room, climbed on the man's knees, put her hands on the cancer on his face, and prayed. I saw the cancer wither. In half an hour, the thing had disappeared. The wound was still there, but in a few days it was healed. After the child had laid her hands on top of his head, he arose, saying, "Oh! The fire that has been in my brain has gone out," and his mind was normal. Power belongeth unto God (Psalms 62:11). The simplest soul can touch God and live in the very presence of God and in His power.
It is almost sadness to my soul that men should be astonished and surprised at an ordinary, tangible evidence of the power of God.
A woman came into the Healing Rooms once with a tumor larger than a full grown unborn child. Her physicians had been fooled, believing it to be a child until nature's period had passed. Then they decided it must be something else. She came to the Healing Rooms and I interviewed her. She said, "Mr. Lake, I have the opinion of several physicians. They are all different, but each has said, 'It is possible it may be a child.' But now the time has passed, and they do not know what to say." I put my hand upon her for a moment, and I said, "Madame, it is not a child; it is a tumor." She sat down and wept. Her nurse was with her. Her soul was troubled and she did not receive healing. She came back on another afternoon for prayer and returned the next day wearing her corsets. She said, "I came down to show you that I am perfectly normal. When I retired last night at 10 o'clock, there was no evidence that anything had taken place, beyond that I felt comfortable and the choking was gone. But when I awoke this morning, I was my normal size." I asked, "Did it disappear in the form of fluid?"
She said, "There was not an outward sign of any character." Beloved, what happened to it? It dematerialized. The tumor dissolved. What is a miracle? It is the tangible evidence of the supreme control of the Spirit of God over every character and form of materiality. Beloved, the power of such an event, such an act and sign, shows you and me that through living, positive, actual contact with the Spirit of God, all things are possible. Blessed be His Name!...
I was in a meeting in Los Angeles on one occasion. An old black man was conducting the services'. He had the funniest vocabulary. But I want to tell you, there were doctors, lawyers, and professors listening to marvelous things coming from his lips.
It was not what he said in words; it was what he said from his spirit to my heart that showed me he had more of God in his life than any man I had ever met up to that time. It was God in him who was attracting people. One man insisted on getting up and talking every little while. Some people have a mania for talking.
The old black brother endured it for a long time. Finally, the fellow got up again, and the old man stuck his finger out and said, "In the Name of Jesus Christ, sit down!" The man did not sit down. He fell down. And his friends carried him out. That is only one of the living facts of what Christianity is: the divine power of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, filling a man's soul and body, flashing through his nature like holy flame, accomplishing the will of God.
There is a baptism that belongs to Jesus. It is in His supreme control. No angel or man can bestow it. It comes from Him alone. He it is which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost (John 1:33). So the individual who wants the Holy Spirit must come into definite, conscious contact with Jesus Christ Himself. Bless God!
Almost a year before I went to Africa, as I was praying one night, I was overshadowed by the Spirit of the Lord. The Lord showed me various places in which I would labor for five years and, by the illumination that would appear in the heavens, I knew the extent of the work in each place. The last of these places I saw was South Africa. That night as I knelt on the floor, I was suddenly present at a church in Johannesburg, South Africa, Where an acquaintance of mine was pastor. I walked in the door of the church, walked the entire length of the church to the front and into a little vestry. I looked around the place and took note of everything. The furniture, the room, and all about it. All of this occurred as I prayed in my hometown near Chicago. In less than a year, I was in that church and pastor of it. God did the whole thing. I had nothing to do with it.
God having shown with the illumination the marvelous extent and character of the work He was going to do all over the land, I had faith to believe that the thing God showed me would come to pass, and I have lived to see it through. One evening in my own tabernacle, a young girl about 16 to 18 years of age by the name of Hilda suddenly became overpowered by the Spirit of God.
She arose and stood on the platform beside me. I recognized at once that the Lord had given the girl a message, so I simply stopped preaching and waited while the Spirit of God came upon her. She began to chant in some language I did not know, and then made gestures like those a Mohammedan priest would make when chanting prayers. In the back of the house I observed a young East Indian, whom I knew. He became enraptured and commenced to walk gradually up the aisle. No one disturbed him, and he proceeded up the aisle until he had reached the front. Then he stood looking into the girl's face with intense amazement. When her message had ceased, I said to him, "What is it?" He answered, " Oh, she speaks my language!" I said, "What does she say?" He came up on the platform beside me and gave the gist of her message. "She tells me that salvation comes from God. In order to save men, Jesus Christ, Who was God, became man. She says one man cannot save another; that Mohammed was a man like other men, not a power to save a man from his sins. But Jesus was God, and He had power to impart His Spirit to me and make me like God.”
While I was preaching in a church in South Africa, an American lady whose son resided in the state of Iowa, was present in a week night service. Before the service began, she called me into the vestry and said she had just received a letter from her daughter in law. It stated that the woman's son, a college professor, appeared to be tubercular. He was compelled to give up his teaching position and was in a condition of great weakness. As I conversed with the mother, I observed that she, too, believed her son to be tubercular and that, unless healing came to him quickly, he would die. I returned to the Audience Room; and as we were about to pray, I stepped to the end of the platform and asked the mother to hand me the letter. Taking it in my hands, I knelt to pray, inviting all present to join me in faith in God for the man's deliverance. My spirit seemed to ascend in God, and I lost all consciousness of my environment. Suddenly, I found myself standing in that young man's home in Iowa, nearly 10,000 miles from Johannesburg.
The man sat by a hard coal heater with a little boy about two years old on his lap. I observed him critically and said to myself, Your face is hard and shows no evidence of soul development or spiritual life, yet your affection for your son is a redeeming quality. His wife sat on the opposite side of the table, reading a magazine. Observing her, I remarked to myself, When he got you, he got a Tartar! While standing behind the man's chair, I laid my hands on his head, silently praying for God to impart to him His healing virtue and make the man well that he might bless the world and that his mother's heart might be comforted. There was no knowledge of my return. In a moment I was aware that I was kneeling on the Church platform. I had been uttering audible prayer and the Spirit of God was resting deeply upon the people.
Some six weeks later, word was received that the young man was quite well. His recovery had begun on the exact date that prayer was offered for him in our church 10,000 miles away.
I was absent from the city of Spokane for a time and, when I returned, Mrs. Lake was not at home. It was just time to leave for my afternoon service when someone came in and said, "Your secretary, Mrs. Graham, is in the throes of death. Your wife is with her."
Immediately I hurried to the place. One of my ministers' wives met me at the door and said, "You are too late; she is gone."
As I stepped inside, the minister was coming out of the room. He said, "She has not breathed for a long time." But looking on that woman, I thought of how God Almighty had raised her out of death three years before; how He had miraculously given her back her womb, ovaries, and tubes which had been removed in operations; how she had married and conceived a child.
As these thoughts arose, my heart flamed!
I took that woman up off the pillow and called upon God for the lightnings of heaven to blast the power of death and deliver her. I commanded her to come back and stay. She came back after having not breathed for 23 minutes!
We have not yet learned to keep in living touch with the powers of God. Once in a while our souls rise, and we see the flame of God accomplish this wonder and that. But, beloved, Jesus Christ lived in the presence of God every hour of the day and night. Never a word proceeded from the mouth of Jesus Christ, but that which was God's Word. He said, The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63).
When you and I are lost in the Son of God and the fires of Jesus burn in our hearts, as they did in his, our words will be the words of Spirit and of life. There will be no death in them. Beloved, we are on the way.
Having formal acknowledgement as a student of science, it was my privilege to attend clinics, which I frequently did.
At one time I submitted myself to a series of experiments. It was not sufficient to know that God healed; I had to know how God healed.
I visited one of the great experimental institutions and submitted myself for a series of experiments.
First, an instrument was attached to my head. This instrument had an indicator that would register the vibrations of the brain.
I began to repeat things like the 23rd Psalm to soothe the mind and reduce its vibrations to the lowest point. Then I repeated the 31st Psalm, the 35th chapter of Isaiah, the 91st Psalm, and Paul's address before Agrippa.
After this, I went into secular literature and recited Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade" and finally Poe's "The Raven" as I prayed in my heart that at the psychological moment, God would anoint my soul in the Holy Spirit.
My difficulty was that while reciting, I could not keep the Spirit from coming upon me. When I finished with "The Raven," those in charge of the experiment said, "You are a phenomenon. You have a wider mental range than any human being we have ever seen."
In reality, this was not so. It was because the Spirit of God kept coming upon me to such degree that I could feel the moving of the Spirit within me.
I prayed in my heart, "Lord God, if You will only allow the Spirit of God to come like the lightnings of God upon my soul for two seconds, I know something is going to happen that these men have never seen before.
As I recited the last lines of the poem, suddenly The Spirit of God struck me in a burst of praise and tongues. The indicator on that instrument bounded to the limit and I haven't the least idea how much further it would have gone if it had been possible.
The professors said, "We have never seen anything like it!" I replied, "Gentlemen, it is the Holy Ghost."
In the second experiment, a powerful X-ray machine with microscopic attachments was connected to my head. The purpose was to see, if possible, what the action of the brain cells was.
I proceeded just as in the former experiment. First, I repeated Scriptures that were soothing those calculated to reduce the action of the cortex coils to their lowest possible register. Then I went to Scriptures which conveyed better and richer things until I reached the first chapter of John. As I began to recite this, the fires of God began to burn in my heart.
Suddenly, the Spirit of God came upon me as before, and the man who was behind me touched me. It was a signal to me to keep that poise of soul until one after another could look through the instrument.
Finally, when I let go, the Spirit subsided. The professors said, "Why, man, we cannot understand this, but the cortex cells expanded amazingly."
I said to them, "Gentlemen, I want you to see one more thing. Go down in your hospital and bring back a man who has inflammation in the bone. Take your instrument and attach it to' his leg. Leave enough space to get my hand on his leg. You can attach it to both sides."
When the instrument was ready, I put my hand on the man's shin and prayed like Mother Etter' prays: no strange prayer, but the cry of my heart to God.
I said, "God, kill the devilish disease by Your power. Let the Spirit move in him; let it live in him."
Then I asked, "Gentlemen, what is taking place?” They replied, "Every cell is responding."
It is so simple: The life of God comes back into the part that is afflicted; immediately the blood flows; the closed, congested cells respond; and the work is done!
That is God's divine science.
Oh, beloved, when you pray, something is happening in you! It is not a myth; it is the action of God.
The Almighty God, by the Spirit, comes into your soul, takes possession of your brain and manifests Himself in the cortex cells of your brain. When you wish and will, either consciously or unconsciously, the fire of God, the power of God, that life of God, that nature of God, is transmitted from the cortex cells of your brain and throbs through your nerves down through your person, into every cell of your being into every cell of your brain, your blood, your flesh, and your bone, into every square inch of your skin, until you are alive with God!
That is divine healing.
One day I sat talking to Father Seymour in Los Angeles. I told him about the following incident in the life of Elias Letwaba, one of our native preachers in South Africa.
I went to his house one day in the country, and his wife said, "He is not home. A little baby is hurt, and he is praying for it."
So I went over to the native hut, got down on my knees, and crawled inside. I saw Letwaba kneeling in a corner by the child. I said, "Letwaba, it is me. What is the matter with the child?"
He told me the mother had been carrying it on her back in a blanket as natives carry their children, and it fell out. He said, "I think it hurt its neck."
I examined the baby and saw that its neck was broken. It would turn from side to side like the neck of a doll. "Why, Letwaba, the baby's neck is broken!"
I did not have faith for a broken neck, but poor old Letwaba did not know the difference. I saw that he did not understand. He discerned the spirit of doubt in my soul, and I said to myself, I am not going to interfere with his faith. He will just feel the doubt generated by all the old traditional things I have learned, so I will go outside.
I went to another hut and kept on praying. I lay down at 1 a.m. At 3 o'clock Letwaba came in.
I said, "Well, Letwaba, how about the baby?"
He looked at me, so lovingly and sweetly, and said, "Why, brother, the baby is all well. Jesus do heal the baby."
I said, "The baby is well! Letwaba, take me to the baby at once."
So we went to the baby. I took the little black thing on my arm and came out of the hut praying: "Lord, take every cursed thing out of my soul that keeps me from believing the Lord Jesus Christ."
As I related the incident to Mr. Seymour, he shouted, "Praise God, brother! That is not healing. It is life!"
In my assembly in Spokane, there was a dear little woman who had been blind for nine years. She had received very little teaching along the line of faith in God.
As she sat at home one day with her six children, she discovered that her dirty brute of a husband had abandoned her and the children, leaving them to starve. (A debased human being is capable of things that no beast will do, for a beast will care for its own.)
You can imagine the effect this had on her little heart. She was crushed, broken, bruised, and bleeding.
They were all sitting together on the front porch of their home. She gathered her children around her and began to pray.
Suddenly one of them got up and said, "Oh, Mama! There is a man coming up the path and he looks like Jesus! And oh, Mama, there is blood on His hands and blood on His feet!"
The children were frightened and ran around the house.
After a while the biggest child looked around the corner and said, "Why, Mama, He is laying His hands on your eyes!" And just then, her eyes were opened.
That is divine power...
Some years ago there was a farmer in Indiana, who used to be a friend of mine. His son, while in
South America had contracted a dreadful case of typhoid fever. Because he had no proper nursing, he developed a great fever sore ten inches in diameter. His whole abdomen became grown up with proud flesh, one layer on top of another until there were five layers. A nurse had to lift up these layers and wash them with an antiseptic to keep out the maggots.
When he exposed his abdomen to me to pray for him, I was shocked. I had never seen anything like it before. As I began to pray for him, I spread my fingers wide and put my hand right on that cursed growth of proud flesh. I prayed God in the name of Jesus Christ to blast the curse of hell and burn it up by the power of God.
After praying, I took the train back to Chicago. The next day I received a telegram saying, "Lake, the most unusual thing has happened. An hour after you left, the whole print of your hand was burned into that growth a quarter of an inch deep."
You talk about the voltage from Heaven and the power of God! Why there is lightning in the soul of Jesus! The lightnings of Jesus heal men by their flash!
Sin dissolves and disease flees when the power of God approaches!
And yet we are quibbling and wondering if Jesus Christ is big enough to meet our needs.
Take the bars down!
Let God come into your life.
In the name of Jesus, your heart will not be satisfied with an empty Pentecost. But your soul will claim the light of God and the lightnings of Jesus to flood your life!
One day, as a young man, I needed healing from Heaven, but there was nobody to pray for me. I was not even a Christian in the best sense of being a Christian. I was a member of the Methodist church and had seen God heal one dear soul who was very dear to me.
As I sat alone, I said, "Lord, I am finished with the doctor and the devil. I am finished with the world and the flesh. From today forward, I lean on the arm of God."
Right then and there, I committed myself to God and God Almighty accepted my consecration to Him although there was no sign of healing.
The disease that almost killed me and had stuck on my life for nearly nine years was gone! It was chronic constipation. I would take three ounces of castor oil at a single dose three times a week.
The place of strength and the place of victory is the place of consecration to God. That victory will come when a man grits his teeth and says, "I go with God this way."
There is no man alive who can define the operations of faith in a man's heart. But one thing we can be sure of: When we cut ourselves off from every other help, we have never found the Lord Jesus Christ to fail. If there are any failures, they are ours, not God's.
Edward Lion was a native man who, until a few years ago, didn't even wear clothes. He was illiterate and knew nothing whatever of our conception of scholarship.
But God anointed that man with the faith of God and a measure of the Holy Ghost so intense that on one occasion when a multitude of sick folk had been brought into a valley, the power of God came upon him and he went upon the mountainside, stretched out his hands over the sick below, and poured out his heart to God.
In a minute, hundreds were healed! Healing power fell upon them.
There is no such instance recorded in the New Testament. Jesus promised that the Last Days would be marked by greater works than He Himself had wrought.
In 1912 I was pastor of the Apostolic tabernacle, Johannesburg, South Africa.
One of the cardinal teachings of our organization was the ministry of healing through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The sick were brought from all parts of the land; and thousands were healed through the prayer of faith and the Laying on of hands of those who believed.
Our church was then enjoying a great period of spiritual blessing and power. Various remarkable manifestations of the Spirit commonly occurred.
At a Sunday morning service, before public prayer was offered, a member of the congregation arose and requested that those present join in prayer on behalf of his cousin in Wales (7,000 miles across the sea from Johannesburg), that she might be healed. He stated that the woman was violently insane and an inmate of an asylum in Wales.
I knelt on the platform to pray; and an unusual degree of the spirit of prayer came upon my soul, causing me to pray with fervor and power. The spirit of prayer fell upon the audience at the same time.
The people ordinarily sat in their seats and bowed their heads while prayer was being offered, but on this occasion 100 or more in different parts of the house knelt to pray with me. I was uttering the audible prayer; they were praying in silence.
A great consciousness of the presence of God took possession of me. My spirit rose in a great consciousness of spiritual dominion, and I felt for the moment as if I were anointed by the Spirit of God to cast out demons.
My inner, or spiritual, eyes opened. I could see in the spirit and observed that there was a shaft of seeming light, accompanied by moving power, coming from many of those who were praying in the audience.
As the prayer continued, these shafts of light from those who were praying increased in number. Each of them reached my own soul, bringing an increasing impulse of spiritual power until I seemed well nigh overcome by it.
While this was going on, I was uttering the words of prayer with great force and conscious spiritual power.
Suddenly, I seemed out of the body and, to my surprise, observed that I was rapidly passing over the city of Kimberley, 300 miles from Johannesburg. I was next conscious of the city of Cape Town on the seacoast, a thousand miles away. My next consciousness was of the Island of St. Helena, where napoleon had been banished; then the Cape Verde lighthouse on the coast of Spain.
By this time it seemed as if I were passing through the atmosphere observing everything, but moving with great lightning like rapidity.
I remember the passage along the coast of France, across the Bay of Biscay, into the hills of Wales. I had never been in Wales. It was new country to me; and as I passed swiftly over its hills, I said to myself, These are like the hills of Wyoming along the North Dakota border.
Suddenly, a village appeared. It was nestled in a deep valley among the hills. Next I saw a public building that I recognized instinctively as the asylum.
On the door I observed an old fashioned 16th Century knocker. Its workmanship attracted my attention and this thought flashed through my spirit: That this was undoubtedly made by one of the old smiths who manufactured armor.
I was inside the institution without waiting for the doors to open and present at the side of a cot on which lay a woman. Her wrists and ankles were strapped to the sides of the cot. Another strap had been passed over her legs above the knees, and a second across her breasts. These were to hold her down.
She was wagging her head and muttering incoherently.
I laid my hands upon her head and, with great intensity, commanded in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that the demon spirit possessing her be cast out and that she be healed by the power of God. In a moment or two, I observed a change coming over her countenance. It softened and a look of intelligence appeared.
Then her eyes opened, and she smiled up in my face. I knew she was healed.
I had no consciousness whatever of my return to South Africa. Instantly, I was aware that I was still kneeling in prayer, and I was conscious of all the surrounding environment of my church and the service.
Three weeks passed. Then my friend who had presented the prayer request for his cousin came to me with a letter from one of his relatives, stating that an unusual thing had occurred. Their cousin, who had been confined for seven years in the asylum in Wales, had suddenly become well. They had no explanation to offer. The doctors said it was one of those unaccountable things that sometimes occur.
She was perfectly well and had returned home to her friends.
After returning from Africa some years ago, I spent some time visiting my brother and my sister. As we sat together one day, my sister said, "John, I have some neighbors here who are elderly German people and they are having a very hard time.
"First, the old man died; then one of the sisters died. This thing happened, and that thing happened. Finally, the son, who is a shipbuilder, fell and was carried to the hospital. Now gangrene has set in; they say his leg has to be amputated.
"The old mother, a rheumatic cripple, has been sitting in a wheelchair for two and a half years and cannot move."
My brother and I had been having a discussion over this very thing. Jim, a splendid fellow, a professor and well educated, said, "Jack, don't you think these things are all psychological?"
"Not much," I said.
Jim said, "I think it is. Don't you think healing is a demonstration of the power of mind over matter?"
I said, "No. If that were all it is, you could give just as good a demonstration as I could."
After a while, our sister said, "I have been across the street and have made arrangements for you to go and pray for these people."
I said, "All right. Jim, come along."
When we arrived, I asked the old lady, "Mother, how long have you been in this wheelchair?"
She replied, "Two and a half years. It is awful hard. Not just hard sitting here all the time, but I suffer night and day, with no moment of relaxation from my acute suffering for all this time."
As I listened to her, the flame of God came into my soul. I said, "You rheumatic devil, in the name of Jesus Christ, I will blot you out, if it is the last thing I ever do in the world!" Laying hands on her I looked to Heaven and called on God to cast that devil out and set her free.
Then I said to her, "Mother, in the name of Jesus Christ, get out of your chair and walk!"
And she arose and walked!
My brother said, “,My, it beats the devil." I replied, "That's the intention!"
We went into another room to see the son whose leg was to be amputated. I sat for a few minutes and told him of the power of God. I said, "We have come to you with a message of Jesus Christ, and we have not just come with the message, but with the power of God."
And laying my hands on the limb I said, "In the name of the living God, they shall never amputate this limb!"
The leg was healed.
After about six months, I again stopped at my sister's home. The young lady from across the street called and said, "You must come across and see my mother and brother. They are so well."
When I called, I found the old lady was very happy. I asked about her son. She said, "Oh, Jake, he is not at home. Why, he is so well that he went down to the saloon and danced all night!"
I waited to see Jake and tried to tell him something about the living God that he had felt in his body and who wanted to take possession of his soul and reveal the nature of Jesus Christ in him.
Five years passed. When I again stopped at my sister's home, she said, "Do you remember the people you prayed for across the road? Here is Jake now, coming from work."
We sat on the porch and talked. I said, "Well, Jake, how is it?"
"Oh," he said, "I do not understand it all, but something has been going on. It is in me. First, I could not go to the dance. Next, I could not drink beer; then my tobacco did not taste good; and then a joy came into my heart. I found it was Jesus."
This man had been born of God his nature brought into union with God by the Holy Spirit. Blessed be His precious Name!
A few days after my arrival in Johannesburg, the superintendent of one of the great missionary societies said, "Our native pastor, who has the church a few doors from your home, must leave for six weeks. Will you occupy the pulpit of the native Church until you are ready to undertake your own work?"
This was God's first door. I instantly accepted!
On Sunday afternoon I preached to a congregation of 500 Zulus through a proficient interpreter, a woman missionary who had lived among the Zulus for 30 years.
As the meeting progressed, a spiritual condition developed almost similar to the dread silence the deep stillness that permeates the atmosphere preceding a cyclone.
This condition in the Spirit climaxed suddenly as, by a single impulse, the native audience burst into prayer. Everyone prayed, saints and sinners alike, but no one came to the altar. No invitation was given.
God had come in overwhelming conviction for sin, and we were impressed that it was not the mind of God to begin to reap until God Himself thrust in the sickle.
I feel, out of life's experience as a Holy Ghost preacher, that great damage is done by not waiting for a real ripeness of the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul of an audience. So frequently, an invitation is given and pressure is put on the audience to bring souls to the altar before God's ripeness of Conviction unto repentance is complete.
At the close of the meeting my interpreter said, "In all my missionary experience, I have never before seen such a spirit of prayer on a native audience."
The next meeting took place at 7 o'clock that evening. A quiet stillness pervaded the meeting. God was searching hearts.
I preached on repentance: real repentance, hundred fold repentance, Holy Ghost repentance, heaven's metanoia, the completeness of separation from the world, its sin and its spirit, like Jesus separated Himself unto all righteousness at the River Jordan. (Matt. 3:13-15.)
Suddenly, a man arose in the back of the audience and started for the altar. When he was about ten feet away from the altar, the Spirit of the Lord struck him and he fell flat on his face.
Another man arose and walked calmly and steadily to the front. When he came to where the first man had fallen, the Spirit of the Lord struck him and he fell on top of No. 1!
One after another, they began to come forward. Each one in turn fell at the same spot until fifteen men were piled, one on top of another.
It was a hot, sultry night. I was troubled because on the very bottom of the pile was a little man lying on his face. The next man lay on top of him, pressing the first man's face into the floor, and I was afraid he would smother.
I had never witnessed such a situation before. I had seen many wonderful manifestations of God, but none like this.
Soon my human sympathy for the little fellow on the bottom of the pile overcame me. I stooped down and tried to pull two or three of these men off him; but they were so piled up, one on top of another, that it seemed impossible to reach him.
The Spirit of the Lord spoke within my soul and said, "If God has slain these, can you not trust Him to keep them from smothering?"
I replied, "Excuse me, Lord," and returned to my seat on the platform.
My interpreter was greatly disturbed. She said, "Dr. Lake, what will you do now?"
I replied, "The Lord is doing this. We will just wait and see what the Holy Ghost does and learn how He does it. Remember, sister, He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel (Ps. 103:7). We have seen His acts strange ones. Perhaps we can now learn His ways." We sat quietly. In about fifteen minutes one of the prostrate men began to confess his sin at the top of his voice. It was a wholehearted soul confession of such evident thoroughness! After a short time, he arose with the light of God in his face and returned to his seat.
By that time another man was confessing, and then another and another, until the whole fifteen men had poured out their souls to God and returned to their seats.
I indicated to the interpreter that I wanted the first man brought to me (the little fellow for whom I had been distressed) so I could question him.
He was a Zulu native who worked for a Dutch family. They had given him a Dutch name, Willum.
I said, "Willum, tell me: What took place while you lay on the floor?"
He said to me in Dutch, "Oh, boss, (This was the manner in which the native always addressed a white man) while I lay on the floor, Jesus come to me, and Jesus say, 'Willum, I take all your sins away.' And Jesus go away. Then Jesus come again. And Jesus put His hand upon my heart, moved it up and down, and say, 'Willum, I make your heart all white.' "
Willum looked into my face. He was all glorified with the light of Heaven until his face was like the face of an angel. He said, "My heart all white! My heart all white!"
He and his friend remained in the church and sang all night. At 6 o'clock the next morning, they both went to their work.
On Wednesday night, my wife and I sat on the platform together. Willum and his friend came early and sat on the front seat.
Mrs. Lake asked, "John, who is the boy sitting on the front seat?"
I replied, "This is the boy with whom I was so impressed Sunday night."
"John, Jesus told me just now if I would lay my hands on that boy, He would baptize him with the Holy Ghost."
"Then go to him at once."
She laid her hands on him. In three minutes he was filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues, glorifying God, and prophesying.
Close to a South African city in which I was ministering, there were hills with outcroppings of rocks like a series of cliffs, one above another. I would go up into these hills to be alone and rest.
One day I observed a lady bringing a young child and setting him on one of the shelves above a small cliff. She left the child some food and water. It seemed a dangerous thing to do, since the child might fall and hurt himself. However, I observed that the child was crippled and could not move around.
After his mother left, I went over to him, laid my hands on him, and prayed. Immediately the child bounded off down the hill to catch his mother.
Not caring to meet anyone, I moved around the hill out of sight.
One day a woman came to the Healing Rooms in the old Rookery Building in Spokane. She could not raise her arm. She said she had an open sore on her side and could get no help from physicians. She added that she had no faith in doctors, in man, in God, or in Jesus Christ but asked if I could help her.
I prayed for her three times with no results. After the third time I said to God, "God, her soul is closed. Open her soul that she might receive."
The next morning as she was putting up her hair, she suddenly discovered that she was using the bad arm and had it raised up to her head. She felt her side, and the open sore was gone.
Immediately, she telephoned to tell us about it.
I said, "Sister, come down here. There are people waiting to hear your testimony."
How much faith does God require of the person who comes and asks?
A closing sentence of an interpretation of tongues given in June, 1910, in Somerset, East Cape Colony, South Africa:
"Christ is at once the spotless descent of God into man, and the sinless ascent of man into God, and the Holy Spirit is the Agent by whom this is accomplished."
A holy mind cannot repeat a vile thing, nor be the creator of a vile suggestion. It is an unholy mind that is capable of such an act. I say with Paul, mark such a person (Romans 16:17). He may talk, but he does not know God. He does not comprehend the power of salvation, nor is he the possessor of the Holy Spirit.